N_kellie's Reviews > Dad, Jackie, and Me

Dad, Jackie, and Me by Myron Uhlberg
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's review
Nov 03, 2010

really liked it
bookshelves: historical-fiction
Read from November 03 to 06, 2010

Dad, Jackie and Me is the story about a boy and his dad who bond by going to Brooklyn Dodgers baseball games. Only they aren’t just going to the games because they are Dodgers fans, it’s Jackie Robinson’s rookie season as the first black man to play in major league baseball.
The story starts with the boy explaining that his ear was glued to the radio because it was opening day 1947. The boy explained that he listened to the entire first game and could see it all in his “mind’s eye” and he dreamed of the day he could see it for himself. One day, his father brought home tickets for a Dodgers game, as the dad and the boy get ready to go to the game the boy tossed a ball to the dad, but the dad couldn’t catch the ball, because he never played baseball. While at the game, the dad was chanting “go Jackie!” like others in the crowd, but because he is deaf, he cannot hear himself, and it sounds more like “Go Ah-gee!” and the boy felt embarrassed because everyone turned to look at his dad. The Dodgers ended up winning that first game and the boy’s dad was anxious for the boy to teach him everything he knew about baseball, and Jackie Robinson. The two kept going to the baseball games whenever they could and watched how Jackie never complained or reacted to the hard time he got from the opposing teams and the horrible things they called him. At the end of the story Jackie tosses a ball into the crowd and the boy’s dad reached up and caught the ball with his bare hand! The last page of the book is an author’s note that explains, “This story is a work of fiction. Parts of is, however, are based on truth.” This is followed by an explanation about how the story is based on the author’s own boyhood experiences and the struggles his father endured because of his impairment.
The watercolor painted pictures give this book an older look allowing the reader to feel like they are taken back to this time period. Large, detailed, pictures take up over half of each page leaving space at the bottom for text. The format of every page is set up the same, except for one, where the text is written in 2 columns on each page instead of all the way across the page. This stood out to me as I read. I think it may have been set up this way intentionally because of all the dialogue. The 2 columns made the text easier to read.
This text could be used in many ways in an elementary through high school classroom. Ideas of prejudice and racism could be discussed, and other first people to accomplish a goal could be discovered. The detailed illustrations add to the story and could be used, along with the text, to make inferences.
Baseball is not my favorite, but I enjoyed the story that was told and how each character overcame a struggle.
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03/28/2016 marked as: read

Comments (showing 1-2 of 2) (2 new)

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message 1: by N_Colleen (new)

N_Colleen Thanks for sharing your summary of the book. I can see why sports fans would love to read this book. A sports fan never forgets their first time at a ballpark and will know exactly how this character is feeling. Second, children learn that it takes hard work and courage to play sports and excel at a specific sport. Jackie Robinson is a great role model and advocate to help demonstrate this lesson.

N_amandascholz When I picked up this book, I expected the focus to be on Jackie Robinson and the racism he faced. I really was surprised by the deaf father and the obstacles he overcame -- especially in terms of the low expectations set for him because many assumed his lack of hearing reflected a lack of intelligence. I like how the two stories of Robinson and the father worked together to defy several preconceptions about a person's ability to be successful.

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